Friday, November 6, 2015

Post-Apocalypse, 1066 AD

I'm reading a fascinating book called The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth. I'll post again when I've finished it, but for now I just wanted to gush about how enjoyable it is. I blaze through most of what I read, but I'm taking my time with this one. Partly that's because it's written in a weird sort of quasi-English that takes a bit of getting used to. After the first few chapters it all makes sense. Who needs standard spelling or punctuation? If the writer was just being coy or hip with it, I don't think I'd like it. But his odd language, word choice, spelling and so on have a direct artistic impact on what he's trying to say. This book is also a great triumph for a writer who funded and published independently, avoiding (through necessity at first) mainstream publishing channels. All in all, it's very impressive.

The narrator is a fellow named Buccmaster. He believes he has been "coesen by the eald gods" (chosen by the old gods) to take his grandfather's sword and fight back against "geeyome the frenc fuccer" (William the Conqueror) for destroying the "anglish" way of life. But, without spoiling anything, it soon becomes apparent that Buccmaster may not be the most reliable narrator. He may not even be very likable, either, as it turns out. And even though I'm only halfway through the book, I can't believe things will end well for him. But I'm enjoying the hell out of the ride.

There's a great article about the book right here. I'm jealous of the author's "writing shed" pictured in the background.

1 comment:

  1. I finished this book a few days later. I won't say it has a happy ending. But it's one of the most original books I've ever read, and I keep thinking about it long after I've closed the book.